How Safe is It to Hold Exams, Travel By Metro? India Only Country to Record 80,000 Covid-19 Cases in a Day


How Safe is It to Hold Exams, Travel By Metro? India Only Country to Record 80,000 Covid-19 Cases in a Day

Illustration: Mitesh Parmar

India could soon be on the course to claim a title no other country particularly desires: the country with the most positive Covid-19 cases in the world. Currently third, behind the US and Brazil, India is already setting records of the number of fresh cases being reported daily. This Sunday, a new threshold was crossed, as India reported more than 80,000 new cases in a single day. While the US and Brazil have seen the growth rate of the new cases start to taper off, India’s has remained on an upward trajectory since the first case was detected in January.

The country is preparing to enter Unlock 4.0, the next phase of the government’s ambitious plan to restore normalcy after a stringent nationwide lockdown earlier this year. However, the unprecedented number of fresh cases being detected is worrying, as the increased public activities permitted could lead to another surge of new cases among the population. Reports calling India “The World’s New Virus Epicentre” outline how dire the situation has become.

With the lockdown also playing havoc with citizens’ livelihoods and sending the economy into a downward spiral, the decision to unlock is a difficult one, because both alternatives will endanger average Indians, either directly or indirectly. However, it’s important to note that just because restrictions are rolled back, the threat of the virus hasn’t reduced. The decision to reopen public transport and spaces is a response to the present economic crisis, not the medical one. The widespread student agitation to postpone entrance exams for higher courses and final exams for universities and colleges underscores this.

Shahid Jameel, a leading virologist, noted how the public was beginning to neglect social distancing guidelines as the unlocking birthed a false sense of security. He also gave a grim prediction for what to expect in the near future, saying India’s number of deaths would climb as well. With the country currently seeing as many as 1,000 deaths a day, that’s a worrying forecast indeed.